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Golding Hop, Plaxtol

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user reviews of the Golding Hop, Plaxtol

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Great shame to see it go, we used to take a summer pilgrimage down there to re-enter the 50s and drink beer from the barrel and play bar billiards. Farewell Hops.
Hackajack - 5 Jul 2017 01:32
Closed permanently and licence relinquished, September 2016. A shame - this was a rare, no-frills, rural pub in a delightful setting.
Viewfinder - 3 Jun 2017 20:11
I hear on the grapevine that this place has closed down.
alan_From_SAWW - 6 Nov 2016 20:52
A typical country pub, a rarity these days and an absolute gem. Visited one Sunday afternoon to be pleasantly surprised by generous parking, a children's playground and jolly clientele. It probably doesn't operate well if there's a sudden rush of tourists! Proprietors both friendly and good humoured, reasonably priced bar snacks (not sampled), good selection of ales, sampled the rough cider - very good and not that easy to find of late. Overall, will be visiting again soon - timeless on a sunny afternoon.
Polypore - 28 May 2015 21:56
Great pub , wrong landlord.......very rude to people he dosent know...only wants his clicky locals in there. Made a special effort to go there with my wife (we live quite a drive away) and this jumped up twit ruined our night. Why? bloody unfair....keep your pub, i will actively discourage people to use it.
beersworthy - 16 Jun 2014 11:50
I've been going to this pub on and off for 45 years (and my family for 100 years+). It's the ONLY pub that I know that that is a true time-warp Kentish classic. No frills, no fripperies, it's stuck in the 70's, basic food (but tasty), great beer, great location, no video games or other rubbish. Do we really want to lose this so that it becomes just another gastropub? Yes it's basic, but that's how pubs were, and it offers an alternative to 'trendy'. It does what it says on the tin, and I don't want to lose this piece of heritage. If you don't like it, there are lot's of other places you can go. I love it.
SocratestheCynic - 2 Jun 2014 21:56
Nice pub , nice beer , nice landlady, landlord is probably the most ignorant person iv'e had the displeasure to meet , great shame, can't wait till he moves on and passes it to someone who looks after their customers.
wuderbar - 24 Sep 2013 11:02
There is nothing finer than real cider during the heatwave, other than two pints of house rough and a veggie burger.

There is so much nonsense talked about Ed. He is a mans man and tells it as it is. If you dont like it just grow some balls or go somewhere else. He has never ben anything other than concise and charming to me and Sonja is a doll.

This togehter with the Old House and the Halfway house in Brenchley and "Elsies" are the finest pubs in this thriding of Kent. We are blessed to have two of them within walking distance from The Plough in Ivy hatch, which is a pub you naturally walk away from or walk out of for those inexperienced enough to venture in.
Sessionmaster - 23 Jul 2013 12:34
Docking? Isn't that what they do to dogs' tails? No wonder Eddie threw you out, watching someone docking in the car park is very tasteless.

It all sounds like a shaggy dog story to me...
lynx - 20 Jan 2013 04:00
The fact is that all the people who like this pub are just too broke/tight to go anywhere else.... you tolerate the miserable arse of a landlord because you cannot afford to go to a better pub. In all honesty Eddy is a total jerk, he ejected me and my partner from his pub after we asked him if the lady serving was interested in watching us doing some docking later, it later transpired they have been married for 40 years. Eddy should learn to take a joke, what a pr*ck!!
benton - 7 Aug 2012 11:30
We have been going to this Pub for about 9 years now on and off - Halloween is spectacular as is Christmas. Always a lovely show of flowers in spring and summer. Ale and Cider fantastic. We would happily take this over if Ed and Sonja ever retire (I hope they don't!). Ah also, Bar Billiards table - there aren't that many left of those! Love it to bits and it's a corner of Kent heaven.
Dodie57 - 21 Dec 2011 12:20
In popped in today for pint of rough and a plate of toasties

A lovely cold day, stoves were glowing and so was I when I walked home. This place should be preserved for evermore. Im worried what will happen when Ed and Sonja decide to retire.....any change would be for the worse. perfect 10/10

Sessionmaster - 5 Dec 2011 19:45
Visted today 4th of December. Lovely old pub had a pint of Adnams my friend a pint of Seafarers. Proper old pub well worh a visit. Could have stayed longer but time was pressing.
Miles007 - 4 Dec 2011 22:19
I had heard a lot about this pub but only visited it for the first time yesterday. What a delight! A Real pub. The food is simple, nicely cooked and tasty. Worth the wait. The beer Brains Best and Brain AV and Adnams. Again, excellent (I had Brains best). The old building is a fascinating, old and not tarted up. I was with a group (some of us had been before), and we were all happy and did not want to leave. Oh, and it was a Real landlord and a Real landlady. Perhaps they should start a campaign for Real pubs before it is too late. Can't fault it. A lovely experience.
harrylimex - 6 Nov 2011 14:54
A real gem of a place. Excellent beers (Brains & Adnams), cheap, cheerful & plentiful food, grumpy landlord and a lovely old building. We need more pubs like this.
alan_From_SAWW - 30 Oct 2011 16:57
The Golding Hop is one of the three "Must do" pubs in the area. The Old House and the Padwell being the other two. Ed is candid, speaks his mind and is most generous and welcoming. Yes he can be quirky and good luck to him !

If you like real cider the House Rough is stunning. The beer is always good and even though I don't care much for Adnams you cannot complain about the prices ! The food is stolid and traditional, the chips are the best ever and very reasonable priced.

Stunning location. Get there early for lunch at weekends. Yes the place is unchanged and that is part of the charm. It is perfect as it is ! I love it !
Sessionmaster - 2 Sep 2011 08:01
I have been coming here on and off since the early nineties.

It hasn't changed in all that time - first good reason to come here.

Others: idyllic rural location, Real Ale from the wood and a killer House Rough cider (though I now always have the Sparkling Dry when I come here, it really goes well with the high carb victuals - however, the next House Rough session must be planned ahead before long)

The food is cheap and chips with everything and is in fact spectacularly good – the chickens are right next door and the eggs are incomparable.

Sonia has the magical touch – not only are the flowering baskets the most verdant and abundant I have ever seen, earlier this Summer the bank opposite was a riot of wild-flower beauty as if there is a conspiracy to make this place beautiful and timeless. Because this is how I think of the place.

Other signs – one Halloween there was a dazzling array of skillfully carved pumpkins lined up on the bank, a true artist at work. At Christmas it is a grotto to behold. There is this touch about everything.

Eddie is Eddie – anyone who has a problem should Man up and run their own operation. I have seen a few altercations, not many over the years, but it has always been with people with a sense of entitlement who would be better of going to a chain (Hey! Just my opinion . . )

This is actually one of the very few, perhaps the only, rural pubs around here where there are no foul mouthed BBCs as I call them (the BB stands for bar-blocking, the ‘c’ for something else positively anglo-saxon) Because the landlord won’t stand for foul language. Surprising how many do. I would rather have a stern landlord than have to elbow my way to the bar via BBCs.

So Eddie and Sonia set the whole tone of the place, one irascible at times, the other Mother Earth, and this is how it should be in the right order of things. This is a real timeless old beautiful pub and everyone should go there – so there!

The only places comparable in the area in my memory I would say was the Crown in Shoreham when the legendary Phil was behind the bar (the man was a born barman from the Planet Barman), and the pre-extension Padwell Arms when it was the simplest pub imaginable. And of course the ever excellent ‘Halfway House’ in Brenchley. Doesn’t quite have the location though.

greidbrown - 7 Aug 2011 15:38
This is the second time we have visited this lovely little pub. This time the landlord was very pleasant. The place is charming and off the beaten track with an unusual range of beers. We only stopped for one but managed to fit in a quick game of bar billiards. Without a doubt, we’d come back again.

BiffoBeer - 20 Jun 2011 10:45
A place we visit every couple of months, but on the last occasion we took our neighbours telling them what a great place it was. Now, Eddie the landlord is never the happiest soul around, but he excelled himself on this occasion and was downright rude to our neighbours and us. Apparently they don't allow their 1 menu to be taken outside - he relented when we said we bring is straight back! - and these are the rules. We've always been loyal to this place, but enough is enough and we are customers at the end of the day. Sonia,as usual, was very freindly!
meland - 31 May 2011 12:57
Excellent pint of 'house rough' cider, nice bar billiards table as well.
supaken - 13 Apr 2011 14:56
Re : Ebels....

Haha...most entertaining rate yet.They dont sell harveys in there!. Last time I was there I had a shyte pint of adnams bitter.

Then landlord is a compleat mean he's not the friendlest around.

Pity as I live just down the road and would have loved to walk up to the pub on a summers evening etc.
Tobias10 - 30 Mar 2011 08:51
Having read others’ reviews we decided to give this pub a try. Yes, it is tucked away in the lanes of Plaxtol and, yes, it is old fashioned but it is worth the trip. The situation and garden are very attractive, and the area has some good walking. For a Wednesday lunchtime in November the pub was quite busy and it is clearly very popular with locals.

Four beers were offered (the Adnams was OK) and four ciders too. Having walked there through the many local orchards, we had to try the home-made House Rough at 7.3%abv. Deceptively strong and with a rather acquired taste which echoed the thousands of rotting apples in the surrounding orchards.

The food is very good value. The choice is limited but we had excellent thick gammon, two eggs and delicious chips for £7 (you can pay £8-9 for ordinary packet ham, egg and chips elsewhere).

DavidCook - 3 Nov 2010 17:43
Quirky unspoilt hidden pub which hits all the right notes.
Restricted space inside but large area outside,
Choice of gravity fed ales .. but do try the ciders
kisstaker - 13 Sep 2010 20:32
This is how an old country pub should be, its just great, cannot fault the beer or cider (try the house rough) with just the best egg and chips you'v ever tasted, the pub is situated at the bottom of a hill with a large car park and place to sit out side, try to visit when the whole of the front of the pub is covered with flowers, (what a picture ), but beware, Don't ask for tea or coffee, as the reply you would get might upset you, as this is a true beer and cider house.
It's Great.
subabyjo - 9 Sep 2010 16:59
Most of the reviewers below have got it about right - if you like a basic, slightly old-fashioned pub with superb beer and cider straight from the barrel, then it's well worth finding. The home made pub grub is excellent too, and very filling. Landlord may be an acquired taste to some but he's a decent bloke who knows his stuff, and after a couple of pints of his House Cider you won't care anyway.

One point, if you intend arriving with a large group (which I did), he asks you to ring in advance as a courtesy, which is fair enough as it's only a small place and if the garden's not available due to bad weather you may not be able to get in! Which really would be a tragedy...
lynx - 4 Sep 2010 02:47
More-or-less unchanged for as long as I can remember; hidden away on a narrow country lane in a very attractive part of rural Kent. The pub itself is a picture, comprising of what looks like three buildings of different ages. The cosy bar is in the lowest, central part, with another room in the larger (house) section which contains a bar billiards table. There is also a small raised area at the other end of the bar. Four real ales are served direct from the barrel, keenly priced at between £2.30 and £2.60 (depending on ABV), plus 'House Rough' and three other ciders. (NB - This place has an unusual approach to customer service so you are best advised to look at the notices behind the bar to find out what beers are on, with the ciders being listed on a separate chalk board.) There are three benches on the tiny front patio, but it has a large beer garden (with childrens play area) on the opposite side of the lane. Overall, a bit idiosyncratic, but a real treasure in its own way and thus well worth seeking out.
rpadam - 9 Jul 2010 16:29
A simply stunning country pub in a lovely part of Kent.

Very quaint inside and full of character. Nice wooden decking area to sit ouside and massive beer garden accross the country lane.

The Landlord is a very strange bloke. My very first words to him, were to enquire about what ciders he had to offer. He pointed to a board and said "read the board" in a grumpy tone. He reminded me very much of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. If I hadn't been pre-warned, I would have been quite taken aback.
Having said that, by my 3rd or 4th visit to the bar he was joking with me and to be fair, he seemed very nice to the regulars as well.

This is a pub that it would be tantamount to criminal not to visit.

Instantly one of the best pubs I've ever visited.

Watch out for the 7.3% cider straight from the barrel. It's rocket juice.
Pat_Bateman - 5 Jul 2010 11:26
An exceptional pub in a lovely location, short walk from Plaxtol and the nearest bus stop. A great destination for cider and beer lovers, just remember to check opening times.

Absolutely cracking pub, very unusual to find place like this nowdays. Locals and landlord very friendly, Eddie like some of his cider is rather dry. Food was cheap and there was plenty of it, a pub that serves food to keep the drinkers going. Beer quality was excellent despite the rather hot weather, the price of both cider and beer is on the cheap side for the area.

4 beers and 4 ciders available, including the house rough cider that I believe is made on site. Probably the best cider house in the area.
fenix - 3 Jul 2010 17:25
I've cracked it! Landlord happy = Beer poor. Landlord grumpy = Beer good.
He was quite jolly the other day...hmm.

reviewguru666 - 18 Sep 2009 10:35

The cider I drink comes from apples. Are there apples down the well?
thebrewingman - 4 Aug 2009 20:51
Popped in last night for a swift one - amazed at the prices £2.20 Fullers Chiswick up to £2.60 tops on the real ales. Also had Adnams, Moorhouses Black Cat and Everards Tiger. My Chiswick straight from the barrel was excellent - nice change from the frothy sparkled beer in town pubs. Nice setting with big beer garden. Landlord seemed OK.
mikey64 - 20 May 2009 12:24
One of the last traditional pubs in kent, difficult to find but worth the trouble.
makes its own cider on the premises using own well, and beer still served from barrels behid the bar visible to customers. Not a very large pub but for those that like a real drink an absolute must if in the area
FREDRICK - 17 Apr 2009 09:27
The Golding Hop is a fantastic place to spend an evening by the fire.

Eddie, the landlord, once he's sussed you out, is a very funny chap. Watching him with 'outsiders' can be classic! Having said that, we have only been using it for the last few years and we have been welcomed. If people are polite to him he gives back...if they are not polite then what do they expect?

His wife Sonia does lovely traditional English pub grub and is always smiling.

Quiz nights are the last Friday of every month and are always good fun. It's worth going just to hear some of the quiz masters attempts to read some of the words!!!

Oh, and one final thing, check out the morris dancers in the summer...always a great night.

Thanks Eddie and Sonia and keep on doing what you are doing!
LagerLout74 - 30 Jan 2009 13:35
Landlord not the friendliest, but the landlady is excellent and serves the best Gammon egg and chips i've ever had. Beer from the barrel is worth calling in for alone.
meland - 3 Oct 2008 16:37
Got off bus222 opp Back Lane & descended down single track Bewley La with orchards to either side and fields all around (see satellite view on gmap). Smallish pub with hop decorated bar in central section with handful of tables and small tv (unfortunately showing one of those daily antique shows), beyond to the left a separate room with a couple more tables and a bar billiards table in excellent condition (recently reclothed). To the right of the entrance, up a few steps to a semi ‘loft’ area with dark wood furniture & timbered walls – I imagine this area is mostly used when busy, or for dining. There was a tiny room below the ‘loft’ but it was in darkness, a veritable bolthole. Walls/shelves are decorated with brass & china plates, victorian cartoons and a horse harness has pride of place above the wood burning stove in the central bar area. On the other side of the lane is a car park and grassy beer garden with picnic sets, and this was being patrolled by the crowing pub cockerel who must be something of a feature judging by the occasional picture inside. Beyond the garden is a childrens play area with slide, swings & climbing frame. Some bench seating and weathered wood tables immediately outside the pub overlook the very quiet lane. Didn’t see a food menu, but was happy to notice simple sustenance available behind bar in the shape of filled cobs/baps/barms/rolls (select according to location), something I wish a lot more pubs would do – it’s often all you want with a pint. It’s a down to earth place & some of the conversation between guv & regulars reflected the difficulties of such places surviving, especially with the imposition of euro/h&s regs which may not be applicable or practicable to a country pub. Four beers were served by gravity & I was somewhat disappointed not to find anything from a Kentish brewery out here – Adnams Best & Broadside, Moorhouse Black Cat Mild & Everards Sly Fox (gingery but refreshing), also four ciders – Vintage & House Rough (it was), both 7.3%, Sparkling Dry (5%), & Stowford Press. Bishop Gundulf’s Morris will be appearing the eve of 03Jun. Guv may appear a little dour but he was most helpful to me with a map query. Pub closes weekday afternoons (15:00?).
trainman - 1 Jun 2008 19:41
A gem of a pub , out of the way so it remains mostly a wateringhole for locals , "Tourists" that have found it will be more by by luck .
The garden is not a classic beauty but the pub itself is full of character .
In the winter the fire is warming up the bar , often needed more by gentlemen as the toilets are outside .
In the summer the flower display makes it a classic picture postcard country pub .
Always a good selection of well kept ales and ciders . Beware of the Westons it creeps up on you !.
The food is hearty and unsophisticated , this is no gastropub .
The Landlord is a real character , not to everyone's taste but he is one of a kind . I am pleased to have a place like this as a local pub , as far from the sterile plastic atmosphere of Wetherspoons and their ilk as you can get .
ThirstyMing - 6 May 2008 15:05
A great pub, with good beer. A shame my last visit was ruined by the attitude of the landlord who refused to let me taste the guest bitter.
tfm - 22 Mar 2008 17:41
An old haunt of mine in long distant days of youth. Used to go there every week or so but still frequently couldn't find it! Still a good pub when I went there just before Christmas 2007 but modern attitudes to drinking and driving might have doomed it as Alph River says. I remember it as getting so crowded on summer evenings you could hardly find room to lift an arm.
montyl - 12 Feb 2008 02:10
A superb pub serving well-kept cask beer in an isolated setting. We spent a cosy lunchtime eating and drinking before reluctantly leaving.

Closed in the afternoons I recall, but as stated before - visit while you can: the landlord was wondering how long he could go on making ends meet...

Alph_river - 18 Dec 2007 20:19
Difficult to find if you don't know the area, but well worth the effort - this pub is a classic, and one of the most attractively situated in Kent. I'm delighted to report that it doesn't seem to have changed much in 40 years, apart from the telly in the bar. Beer's still served direct from the barrel, the landlord's still as laconic as ever (though it can't be the same guy as was there 40 years ago, surely?).
Altogether, one of the few real pubs still around; get there quickly, before it disappears like the rest.
earlydrinker - 24 Sep 2007 18:26

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